Conditions of Use
The content is both accessible as an introduction and thorough and interesting for someone familiar with the content. read more
The content is both accessible as an introduction and thorough and interesting for someone familiar with the content.
The text acknowledges the "biased" nature of traditional philosophy or religion and addresses this feature in the final chapter. This is an interesting approach to addressing this issue. Throughout the text there are acknowledgements to a continued debate about traditional approaches to philosophy of religion.
The longevity is connected to the books acknowledgement of a need to address the traditional approaches to philosophy of religion and look for a way forward to expand its inclusiveness.
The arguments are well presented and the authors demonstrate a clear understanding of the content.
The organization of the chapters' contents are consistent and presented in a coherent manner.
The chapter, sections, and subsections lend themselves to dividing up the content into manageable portions.
Each chapter progresses in an order that renders the concepts accessible and enjoyable.
The text is well organized with appropriate notes and references.
Editing and grammar are superb.
The language of academia is "white." But the text is not overtly exclusive. And the internal debates about the tradition of philosophy intrinsically criticize the colonial nature of western philosophy.
I can see how this text would be useful in introductory philosophy courses.
The book is primarily focused on the question of the existence of God and leaves unaddressed other traditional topics of the philosophy of religion such as the relationship between faith and reason, the existence of miracles, or the relationship... read more
The book is primarily focused on the question of the existence of God and leaves unaddressed other traditional topics of the philosophy of religion such as the relationship between faith and reason, the existence of miracles, or the relationship between religion and ethics. The authors rightly make clear that the philosophy of religion has traditionally been focused on questions distinctive to the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), or even more specifically to Christianity, and therefore they try to write this introduction in a way that is inclusive of other religious traditions, including non-monotheistic traditions. As a result, they focus on the question of the existence of God, gods, or some other Ultimate Reality at the expense of other potential topics, although they also skillfully address the question of what philosophy of *religion* means if we take seriously the diversity of the world's religions. So there is a certain tradeoff in the topics covered in the book, working within the constraints of the book's length, which is short and manageable for the sake of accessibility.
That being said, the book is also lacking in coverage of the Christian Middle Ages. Anselm of Canterbury's ontological argument is covered, but Thomas Aquinas is not mentioned at all, for example. A chapter on the history of the relationship between philosophy and religion skips over the Christian Middle Ages and Reformation periods entirely. The reasoning may be that the figures from these periods were theologians rather than philosophers, but the premise of the chapter is that philosophy and religion are not as distinct as many suspect, so the exclusion seems odd.
The book accurately represents the arguments of both historical figures and contemporary scholars. The essays in the book do an admirable job of presenting different sides in the debate over the existence of God, as well as critiques of traditional formulations of the philosophy of religion.
The book is very relevant and up to date. It includes chapters addressing current arguments in the philosophy of religion, and also includes contemporary scholarship on the historical figures who are covered.
The book is exceptionally clear and accessible. It should be understandable for college students. The chapter on the Cognitive Science and Religion is a bit denser and harder to follow than the others, but even here students should be able to follow along with the assistance of an instructor.
The different chapters of the book are written by different authors, but thanks to skillful editing, there is a clear flow to the book, including consistent terminology and a clear dialogue among the chapters.
Another advantage of the book is that the chapters are written as separate essays the can easily stand alone, or they could be used as reading sections assigned at different points within a course.
The organization of the book is very clear. The introductory material for the book is very helpful, both for laying out the organization and for explaining the purpose of the book, as well as the series of which it is a part.
The text is free of any interface issues.
I did not note any grammatical errors.
The book is exceptional in its effort to address the cultural bias of traditional approaches to philosophy of religion, in particular by recognizing how the field has been dominated by questions most relevant to the Christian religion. The book addresses this question both in the introduction and final chapter by exploring what philosophy of religion would look like if it was inclusive of the whole diversity of world religions, including non-monotheistic religions.
Table of Contents
- 1. The Intertwining of Philosophy and Religion in the Western Tradition
- 2. Reasons to Believe – Theoretical Arguments
- 3. Non-Standard Arguments for God’s Existence
- 4. Reasons Not to Believe
- 5. Debunking Arguments against Theistic Belief
- 6. From Philosophy of (Mono)theism to Philosophy of Religions
About the Book
Introduction to Philosophy: Philosophy of Religion introduces some of the major traditional arguments for and against the existence of God, as well as some less well-known, but thought-provoking arguments for the existence of God, and one of the most important new challenges to religious belief from the Cognitive Science of Religion. An introductory chapter traces the connection between philosophy and religion throughout Western history, and a final chapter addresses the place of non-Western and non-monotheistic religions within contemporary philosophy of religion.
About the Contributors
Beau Branson (Book Editor) did his PhD in philosophy at the University of Notre Dame under Richard Cross. His research focuses on the philosophy of the early Church Fathers and lies at the intersection of ancient history, contemporary metaphysics, and philosophy of religion. He is currently Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Brescia University in Owensboro, KY.
Christina Hendricks (Series Editor) is a Professor of Teaching in Philosophy at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC, Canada, where she often teaches Introduction to Philosophy courses. She is also the Academic Director of the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (2018-2023). Christina has been an open education researcher and advocate for a number of years, having been a BCcampus Open Textbook Fellow, an OER Research Fellow with the Open Education Group, the Creative Commons Canada representative to the CC Global Network, and a member of the Board of Directors for the Canadian Legal Information Institute.